"Moving the Viewer's Spirit:" Interview with Devon Rodriguez, Painter and Portrait Artist


Today, I'm excited to share Devon Rodriguez, painter and portrait artist! Through mutual friends I have loved following his progression in capturing likeness and his unique viewpoint as a native New Yorker. His paintings remind me of my days in New York of eternal subway rides - sometimes meditative, sometimes mysterious, always very human. Can you believe he's only 21 and can paint like this? Enjoy!

Devon Rodriguez, Painter & Portrait Artist

What you do or make?

Devon Rodriguez: I document contemporary urban people with oil paint. 

"Brooklyn"  by  Devon Rodriguez , oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches 

"Brooklyn" by Devon Rodriguez, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches 

How do you define success for yourself?

DR: 6 years ago, success to me would’ve been to have the ability to paint a “realistic” portrait with a decent likeness. Now I’d say that success is to create a work that is profound and moves the viewer's spirit. 

What are two ways you characterize yourself that might seem contradictory? How do these make you who you are?

DR: In one way, I want to create for just pure passion and joy. In another way, I want as many eyes as possible on my work. I think it’s a complex that many artists deal with.  

What are three influences from your childhood on what you find beautiful today?


  1. Observing graffiti.
  2. Street fashion.
  3. Watching my grandfather paint.
"Parkslopians"  by  Devon Rodriguez , oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches 

"Parkslopians" by Devon Rodriguez, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches 

How do you keep joy in what you do?

DR: At this point, just thinking about the fresh color on my palette brings me joy. I mean, sometimes it’s hard work, but that natural spark always comes back to me, always. 

What is some of the best advice you received?

DR: From my mentor John Ahearn, he said to me once “You must create works that are undeniably you.” 

Devon's commitment to the discipline of his art form gives me motivation to push through the creative blocks in my own work. Take a look at more of his work!

Devon Rodriguez's Websites/ Social Media:

Devon on Instagram

Devon Rodriguez's Portfolio

Dimensional Creatives is a series of interviews with a selection of the creatives who bring me perspective, inspire, and motivate me.

Laura Dreyer

Every person has aspects of their work, personality, or interests that seem contradictory, but the way these traits coexist in the same human makes them multi-faceted and unique! Sharing these lets us all be a little more ourselves, which makes the world magical. Read more Dimensional Creatives Interviews here >

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